Any Gauchos Rape Victims Urged To Call (718) 838-7382 By Bronx County District Attorney

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Past tutors accused Gauchos' founder Lou d'Almeida of molesting young boys at the program, years ago.


[Black Star News Exclusive] 
 
Victims
of alleged rape at the famed Gauchos basketball program are urged to
call a hotline number that has been created for all rape victims, says
Bronx County District Attorney Robert T. Johnson.


An earlier media
report said the hotline was created to help identify past victims of
rape at the Horace Mann School, including molestations from decades ago. District Attorney Johnson says the hotline is for "all victims",
including those who may have been abused while at the Gauchos, the
prestigious Bronx-based basketball program that serves mostly Black and
Latino youth. The hotline number, (718) 838-7382, was created by the
New York Police Department. "The District Attorney said anyone can call
that number," including victims of the Gauchos, Steven T. Reed,
D.A. Johnson's top spokesperson told The Black Star News. The Black Star News has published
several articles in recent months about the Gauchos' founder, the
multi-millionaire Lou d'Almeida, whom past tutors at the program accused
of molesting young boys at the program, years ago. The tutors were then
students at Columbia University at the time and volunteered at the
Gauchos to help young basketball players with their academic work.


Allegations
against d'Almeida first surfaced in an interview with tutors published
in the April 17-April 23, 1996 edition of The City Sun, a Brooklyn-based
weekly newspaper. The tutors told the newspaper that they witnessed
d'Almeida performing oral sex on a minor inside his car which had been
parked near the gym.


The New York Post and The Daily News
subsequently published articles about the allegations against d'Almeida,
quoting extensively from The City Sun's report.


No charges were
ever filed against d'Almeida who subsequently maintained a low-profile
for awhile. He was reportedly barred from contact with minors,
according to a later report in The Daily News. Yet d'Almeida is now
back at the Gauchos. He's hosted several annual fund-raising events for
the Gauchos, including one at Yankees Stadium in 2010; d'Almeida has
friends and connections in high places. 


New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg's congratulatory letter for the Gauchos' program was printed
in the 2010 fund-raising event's program. Other names listed as
"supporters" and "sponsors" on the 2010 Gala's Program read like a Who's
Who, in New York's world of finance, business, media, and philanthropy:
Adam Bronfman; Zoe Baird; Samuel Gaccione, and; Larry Hirschfield, and
others. The honorees in the 2010 Gala were Ann Bronfman and Judith
Chiara--mother of Charles Chiara, Team Work's president; all are from
the family that founded Seagram Co.


The Gauchos website  lists prominent
supporters such as Charles Chiara, as president, and Matthew Bronfman,
as chairman. Lou d'Almeida was also the subject of a major Sports
Illustrated
, article on November 6, 1995. The magazine article focused
on: d'Almeida's habit of showering young players with expensive gifts;
an incident where a Latino teenage diver who had lived with d'Almeida
ended up shot dead when he apparently tried to move out and there was
confrontation between the two, and; the basketball tournaments road
trips d'Almeida took with his young basketball players to other states.
(Lou d'Almeida also took the young boys overseas to cities like Paris).


The
Black Star News's
recent commentaries urged authorities to re-examine
The Gauchos' program in light of the national media attention on Penn
State University, following multiple-rape of boys allegations against
Jerry Sandusky, the ex-assistant football coach there. 


The Sandusky allegations led to the forced resignation of coaching legend Joe Paterno, who
reportedly did not act strongly enough when he was told by Mike
McQueary, a coaching assistant, that he had witnessed Sandusky anally
raping a boy in a shower at a Penn State facility.  

Sandusky's trial
opened this week in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania: he is charged with raping
10 boys, some of whom were as young as 11 years old at the time of the
sexual assaults.

Some of the testimony by the alleged victims at
Sandusky's trial this week have brought some jurors to tears. Sandusky,
who is 68, is charged with 52 counts of sex abuse and could be
sentenced to life in prison if convicted.  He claims he only "horsed
around" with the boys who now accuse him of sexual molestation. As
with the Gauchos' d'Almeida, who is now 78, Sandusky also had a
foundation, Second Mile summer camp, for youth from low-income or
"disadvantaged" families. He is accused of abusing many of the boys who
were associated with the foundation. In New York, the Gauchos operates under Team Work Foundation, also founded by Lou d'Almeida. Past
Gauchos players who went on to either college or NBA fame include Mark
Jackson, Stephon Marbury, Chris Mullen, Felipe Lopez, Ed Pickney, and
Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, to name a few.


The Gauchos was founded in 1967 by d'Almeida, who moved to this country from Argentina.





"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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